As cloud tech increasingly becomes the construction industry standard, is it time for your construction estimating software to move to the cloud too? In this article, we go over some of the top benefits of cloud construction estimating software.
At Bangert, Inc., we’ve been in the construction software business for thirty years. In fact, we started selling Sage Estimating when it was launched in 1983 as Timberline. Now, more than ever, it’s important that general contractors apply the latest construction technologies in their companies. However, it can be difficult if you don’t know what platforms will fit your construction process and where you want to take your company in the future.
How is cloud construction estimating software different?
At a high level, cloud estimating software provides the following benefits:
- Less Overall Cost
- Easier Onboarding
- Less Maintenance
- Anywhere, Any Device
- Real-Time Labor Cost Feature
- Multiple Solutions in One Platform
Transparency Leads To Accurate Estimates
One of the greatest things about cloud construction estimating software is that it leads to better transparency and collaboration than other bidding software. If you use Procore, you already know what the cloud has done for your project management team. It’s worth noting that the cloud does not always equal expensive.
Less Overall Cost
Cloud estimating software eliminates the need for high-powered computers and servers in your office. Because the software is in a secure data center, all you really need is a fast internet connection. Furthermore, you can eliminate the need for IT personnel, or free up your existing IT personnel to work on other key business initiatives. Over the long-term, that adds up!
Cloud software companies are tech-forward. In addition to one-on-one training with a software support team, this means that you have access to more online tutorials, videos and help articles to more readily navigate you through software training. Because cloud solutions are built to be seamless and intuitive, the learning curve is typically milder.
With an on-premise program installed directly on your computer and/or server, your software must be maintained by someone knowledgeable in IT. Particularly with specialty software for construction, someone well-versed in your product is key to the successful installation and periodic updating of your software. With a cloud solution, all software updates are done behind-the-scenes, which means you don’t have to worry about making the updates – they’re done for you and visible to you in your browser upon opening it.
Anywhere, Any Device
Gone are the days where you must go from the field back to the office to complete an estimate or make revisions per client or design request. With cloud estimating software, you can perform an estimate anywhere, on any device. Because it’s in your web browser, it’s platform-agnostic.
Multiple Solutions in One Platform
Most cloud estimating software covers more than one estimating need in one platform. To give you an example of what a cloud estimating software can provide all-in-one, I’ve listed what ProEst does, below.
With unlimited users, anyone in your company can have access to your estimate pipeline. Security settings allow limited, to unlimited use of the system, depending on each company role. For example, if you want your boss or accounting team to view your estimates, they can do so without the risk of accidental modification of your work. If you want to train a new employee, easily give them access to their own username and user rights, without a major disruption to your workflow and save time.
A Standardized Estimating Process
The user interface of ProEst is built logically and intuitively. Start at the Home Page to view your activity dashboard, including your tasks and notifications, learning tools, and high-level estimate stats. Move to the Estimate Center where all of your estimates can be viewed. Beyond strictly estimating, you can tab over to Relationship Management, your Database, Tasks, Education, and more.
Manage Your Project Pipeline and Data
Where do each of your projects stand, or what has been the cost of jobs of a particular type in the past? Manage your project pipeline and quickly view the status of your estimates upon opening ProEst in your browser. You can also view your projects by type and quickly get conceptual cost data for future projects. Easy report creation helps you mine and organize your project data and review it in more detail.
Collaborate in Real-Time
Have multiple estimators, located in different offices or on job sites? Your estimators can collaborate on the same project at the same time with ProEst, wherever they are, without the lag time that’s experienced when accessing an on-premise estimating solution through a VPN. All you need is a good data connection.
Improve your estimating process by using ProEst as your estimating project management tool. Set deadlines and tasks for yourself and your team to ensure you meet your targets accurately and on time. Set notifications to help keep your team on track.
True 2D Takeoff Integration
No need for separate takeoff software. Seamlessly perform a 2D takeoff estimate in the same browser as your estimating spreadsheet and roll your takeoff quantities with associated items and assemblies right into your spreadsheet.
Easy Report and Proposal Creation
Roll your final estimate into a professional proposal form that can live in your system as a company standard, or give others on your team the ability to create their own as needed. View and analyze your estimate data in multiple ways, all with the easy, built-in report and proposal creator.
Connect ProEst with other cloud construction software highly regarded by construction companies, such as Procore and Acumatica Construction Edition ERP. Together, these three applications give your business one seamless platform, starting with your estimate and rolling into accounting and project management to eliminate double or triple entry and streamline your business processes. Did I mention there’s no need to stop your workflow to update your software?
Cloud construction software may not be for everyone right now, but it certainly is the future of the industry. Whether your company is large or small, you don’t want to be left behind. If you’re considering cloud construction software, now is the time to evaluate what it can do for your business. If you’re already using an on-premise construction cost estimating software, dig deep to find out what the true cost of the software is for you.
By true cost, I mean beyond annual payments for licenses and maintenance. Look at the time spent on everything – your infrastructure, servers, other hardware, IT staff. Review your current workflow for bottlenecks and look at your current staff: Could they be doing things differently? How much time is spent updating and troubleshooting software?